Campus & Student Life
CBS International Business School, 10 August 2023

Marketing salary - what you can earn after completing your studies


Whether as a first job or after studying business administration, a career in marketing appeals to many people. The marketing field offers endless opportunities and there is an urgent need for skilled and dedicated marketing staff who love their job. That's all well and good, but what about the marketing manager salary? What earning opportunities can you expect as you build a marketing career?I

s the marketing salary really good enough to make the job worthwhile? How much can you earn in the industry and what factors influence the size of a marketing specialist salary? These are all important questions that need to be answered before making any career decisions. This article will provide some answers and clarify how much money you can earn in marketing.


Study programmes in English 

Full-time Bachelor's in International Business - Specializing in International Marketing Management.

Full-time Master's in Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing Certificate 

Study programmes in German

Full-time Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management - Specializing in Marketing Management.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Social Media & Influencer Marketing.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Marketing, Media & Event Management.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Marketing & Financing of Health Services.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Brand Management.

Full-time Master's in Marketing Management.

Part-time Master's in Marketing Management.

Digital Marketing Certificate 

How much do you earn after studying marketing?

Marketing is a popular subject and many students graduate with marketing qualifications every year. There is a high demand for graduate skills, but universities comfortably meet this demand. As a result, companies do not feel the need to pay better salaries. Factors like your age, previous experience, and which company you want to work for also play a role. In general, it is therefore very difficult to determine what your marketing manager salary will be.

As a young professional, you can usually expect a salary of 2,000 euros after your studies. In management positions such as marketing manager, you can expect an entry-level salary of around 4000 to 5000 euros. It also helps if you have existing professional experience in addition to your marketing qualifications. For example, if you have worked  in another company or have completed a business administration degree, then a marketing salary of 7000 euros per month or more is also possible.

The specific area of marketing in which you work also has an influence. HR and management consulting pay well, while a digital marketing salary will usually be relatively high. In addition to the industry sector, the size and location of your company play important roles. Larger companies pay more than smaller companies, and a marketing manager salary will generally be higher in the West than in the East. A thorough comparison and direct contact with the respective companies and agencies are the best ways to find out the potential salary.

Marketing salary levels: Getting started

The starting salary in marketing for young professionals without professional experience, i.e. right after graduation, is around 2,000 euros. Here, too, a lot depends on the location and size of the company.. But with this sum, you're already doing pretty well. In management positions, on the other hand, the starting salary is at least twice as high. Here, you can expect a marketing coordinator salary of 4000 to 5000 euros a month if you come straight from university and have no professional experience. On the other hand, marketing managers with professional experience or relevant qualifications such as business administration, can expect a salary of 7000 euros or more.

The table below provides some examples of starting salaries in different marketing jobs:


Starting salaries by job group

Starting salaries in marketing differ significantly, depending on which area of marketing you work in. For example, a salary in traditional marketing will differ from a digital marketing salary. And if you are only responsible for social media marketing, the marketing salary looks different again. To get an overview of your potential earnings, you first have to look at which area you would like to work in, or are likely to work in.

Another factor to keep in mind is your work experience. Marketing recruiters take a very close look at this. As a young professional, you will almost always receive a significantly lower salary than if you already have professional experience. It doesn’t really matter where you gained this experience. For example, if you combine a degree in business administration with your marketing degree, your starting marketing manager salary will be significantly higher. Even so, everyone can gain experience. While you gain professional experience and acquire new knowledge, you will strengthen your reputation in the company and become entitled to a higher salary over time.

Average salaries in marketing

Let's now take a look at what the average marketing salary looks like. This depends on many factors, of course, but is usually better than the starting salary. In our calculation, we assume that you are an average marketing employee with an average degree and an average level of professional experience in your job. We are looking at both classic marketing positions and management positions.

Here is an overview of starting salaries in marketing professions:


Which jobs offer the highest starting marketing manager salary?

As you've seen by now, marketing salaries fluctuate. They depend on how much experience you have and the area of marketing you want to work in. In this section, we will introduce five jobs in marketing where you can expect the highest starting salary.

1st place: the product manager

The product manager occupies first place here with a starting salary of 57,000 EUR per year. As such, you are responsible for selling and distributing a product and are accountable for its success or failure. This is well-rewarded by companies, because you are usually directly involved in successful campaigns. If you do a good job and your product is successful, that will be reflected in your marketing manager salary.

2nd place: CRM management and direct marketing

CRM management and direct marketing are in second place, with an entry-level salary of around 50,000 EUR. These roles are primarily about direct customer orientation and marketing to specific target groups. Your goal is to acquire new customers and generate leads that can then be converted into profitable sales.

3rd place: PR Manager and Corporate Communications

With an average starting salary of 47,000 EUR, the PR Manager is in third place on our list. The most important factor for the marketing salary here is the size of the company. As an employee in a large company, you can receive up to 20% more pay than in a smaller company. Your activities here include representing the company or customer in the area of marketing and PR. You place ads and advertisements, establish contact with journalists and, if necessary, hold press conferences, etc. It is a very varied job with great responsibility.

4th place: the market researcher

With an average starting salary of 40,000 EUR, the market researcher is in fourth place among marketing jobs with the highest salary for new employees. As a market researcher, you either analyse the market in which your company operates or you analyse the market for a specific product. You'll uncover customer needs and feelings, collect data on buying behaviour, and look around for current market trends and opportunities to influence. The information collected in this way can then be used by the marketing department to develop advertising campaigns and products that meet the needs of the respective target group and thus generate sales and leads.

5th place: the (digital) marketing manager

The (digital) marketing manager has also made it onto our list of marketing jobs with the best starting salary. With an average income of 38,000 to 39,000 EUR, this job is in fifth place. This job could be considered “the classic” among marketing jobs. Here you are responsible for advertising your company or product either offline or online and taking care of marketing and sales. You design product advertising, seek contact with the customer, etc. It is important to know that the digital marketing manager salary is slightly lower than in traditional marketing. Online marketers can expect to earn around 500 to 1000 EUR less per year, depending on which company you work for.

Now you have all the information you need about the marketing manager salary to make an informed career decision. You know roughly how much you can earn in the various areas of marketing, how high the starting and average salary is, and which areas of marketing hold the best earning opportunities. Does marketing meet your salary and career expectations? If so, a career in marketing might be just the thing for you.

Looking for a suitable marketing degree?

Has the marketing manager salary convinced you, and would you like to plan your own career in the industry? CBS offers you various marketing courses and a range of degrees, with which you can make the leap into your new career. An overview of the entire range of marketing courses can be found on the Marketing Studies Pillar page, along with course requirements and all other information you need.

A career in marketing. Here you will find all the important information about the career field and the various opportunities after a marketing degree.

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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